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Millennials? Who are You People, Anyway?

Millennials is a hard word to spell. It may be misspelled in the previous sentence. My sense is Millennials wouldn’t care as long as they can send several Instagrams today. The word has an Ivy League ring to it, which is intimidating.

As a group or generation or whatever they are, Millennials are hard to pin down. They are an intractable species or phylum or whomever they are. Ask one person who the Millennials are and you’ll get one answer. But when you ask another you’ll get a different answer. I’ve heard that anyone under the age of 40 is a Millennial. So infants born today are Millennials. That doesn’t sound right. By contrast, I’ve heard anyone between the ages of, say, 20 and 30 is a Millennial. Too wide a net has been cast to capture everybody in the Millennial camp.

Today it wouldn’t surprise me if someone told me Millennials are between the ages of 10 and 20.

Are you aware that people don’t understand who you are? Do you care about your category? Is it something you are proud of?

Who are you people? Why is it so hard for people to figure out how old you are? Who came up with the term Millennial, some sociology professor from Princeton? Confusion about who you are runs rampant.

What is it that makes your group so intractable, yet everybody wants to talk about you, especially advertisers who believe they'll generate more profits targeting ads at your demographic than older people?

What is a Millennial? It sounds like maybe a person born with something about them that is linked to millions, like millions of years or millions of dollars or millions of advertising revenues or millions of centuries. A Millennial also sounds like a key chapter in a novel or a Greek edifice or maybe some small-size characters in a Tolkien trilogy.

I ask again, who are you people? What are you all about? Do you like being lumped into the Millennials group? Does it do anything for you? Do you resent it? If you embrace it, how have you done so in granular terms?

Is one way to describe Millennials “anyone who knows how to send Instagrams”? My guess is you don’t ask yourself these questions because you don’t care who Millennials are and what they’re about even if you are one of them. It’s all immaterial to you.

Are you millers (like carpenters who work in a mill) in some kind of Williamsburg, Virginia old school factory? Are you aware that people don’t understand who you are? Do you care about your category? Is it something you are proud of?

Do you talk about being a Millennial with other Millennials? When Millennials have a party, are only Millennials invited? At those parties do people drink hard liquor?

When you wake up in the morning do you say to yourself “it’s cool being a Millennial” or “I don’t know if I fit the category of a Millennial or not because it depends on who you talk to therefore I don’t care either way”?

Never in my life has a group of people been so broadly and non-specifically defined (except maybe Hindus). You people are amorphous—victims of the vagaries of vagueness. You are readers and writers of Points in Case. Some have thought maybe the site should be renamed “Millennials in Case” but realize that would sound stupid and pretentious. No one would understand who the site was targeted to. Clarity in communication is paramount.

All I can think of to understand Millennials is the word “million.” You are millions of people. You are a million times more likely to be misunderstood or miscategorized than a 70-year-old grandfather of two.

Some of you look like a million bucks. All of you want to make millions of dollars. In that way you’re just like every other demographic besides your own, whatever those are. Money brings everybody together.

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